Monday, 25 April 2011

Paris Eye 26/30 - Les bibliophiles


But of course. I went again to the Book Market down in the 15eme, close to the metro stop, Portes de Vanves, on Line 13. Who could resist? Certainly not I ...

It took me forever. Of course, one pass is not sufficient to make a choice. I early determined that I was better served with yesterday's thought of Orwell if it were in English. So I wandered. These books are delicate creatures, their pages flimsy and browned, their owners hovering, like mid-wives. And each needed to be stroked. And the publishing details examined. The binding inspected. The internal pages sniffed.

Oh, yes. Do not forget the smell test when deciding to purchase a book.


And constantly being way-laid, I was. By the buyers and the sellers. Encased in their turned-sod beauty. And the signs: Achat et Vendre; Sarko is a this, and Sarko is a that.

The blackbirds singing in the Plane trees hanging o'er. The pesky french mutts demanding to be heard. Aroma de stale-food wafting from behind a stall here, and eau-de-tabac assaulting the senses from over there.

Until my decision it was reached. The bargaining began, the prices came down. I had done it. Three illustrated books from early in the twentieth century just right for little girls. Now THAT will surprise you!

13 comments:

Joe said...

To use your words these "turned-sod beauties" hold such promise.

Kay L. Davies said...

Mais oui, ma chere amie, c'etait une grande idee! I'm glad you went back, and I'm glad you found something to buy - and not enough to weigh down your luggage enough to involve you in a surcharge, I hope.
Wonderful photos, Julie. Your portraits are wonderful. The first and the last would make great gifts for the families of those people.
And the way you give an English phrase a French twist - c'etait parfait. You sound like Hercule Poirot. LOL
--K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

diane b said...

I love the second shot of the old books. I have a few in my cupboard from grandparents. They fascinate me and as you say ..the smell...

Chez Loulou said...

You've captured a unique aspect of Paris in these shots. You've made me see old books in a new light. Merci!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Fortunately you were so entranced with the books as to forget to use your camera. What a wonderful set of portraits you have captured here .. the lady at the bottom is perfect. And of course I am not surprised at you buying books for a little girl.

Virginia said...

I would love to see your choices Julie. Love text to accompany these photos.
V

Rae Walter said...

Enjoyed bring told this story through your photos and writing.

Julie said...

Joan - but yes, I did forget to use my camera, until I was departing and then it struck me. I took fewer than 50 shots for the entire day. Oh me, oh my ....

Virginia - one of the books is subject of a story on my Plumbing blog, but I do not think you visit there.

Dutchcloggie said...

Smelling books is essential. I always rejoice when meeting someone else who smells books, both new and used. I simply won't buy a book that smells wrong. Smell is as important as the font or the typeof paper.

Jilly said...

Oh what a marvellous group of photos. My favorite and normally I'd not be able to resist your people shots, is of the books all in a row. Just delicious. Good for you purchasing some books - I'd not be able to as it would curtail my photography thereafter with the extra weight of the books. What a good time you are having in Paris...

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Julie, I knew that you would return for books and you did not disappoint. You returned for books and people and the interraction of a passing acquaintance... love it!

Bises,
G

Becky said...

The guy with the pipe is perfect.

nicki said...

I love that shot of the stack of books! I miss real books and rummaging through book markets as I've lately been reading ebooks as they are easier to get hold of in English language.